History of Problems With Dicks Heating & A/C Inc
The first problem with the furnace (first part of 2011) was the furnace sporadically not shutting off. Wed have to turn the gas valve off at the furnace, then wait for the cool down cycle to finish and turn the breaker off, wait ten seconds and turn it back on. I went on the Williams Furnace web site for troubleshooting, and found that it was probably either the thermostat or the gas valve that were defective. I called a number of HVAC repair facilities, and made an appointment for Dicks to come out 02/22/11 and diagnose the problem for $49.50, and if I had them do the work, the $49.50 would be applied to the repair cost.
On 02/16, I bought a new thermostat at Ace Hardware ($13.00) and installed it. The gas valve was now sticking (repeated clicking) when the furnace would shut off.
On 02/22, Edgar Garcia from Dicks Heating came over and diagnosed the problem as a defective gas valve. The cost of repair would be $540.38 ($478.50 if I signed up for a yearly service plan), and they could have the part in about three days. I agreed to have them do the work and signed up for the yearly service plan.
I called them twice afterwards to find out the status of the parts order, and they were very uninformative other then to say it would be a little longer.
On 03/04, on a hunch, I purchased a new thermostat at Lowes for $40.00 and installed it. This solved the problem with the furnace, and I returned the other thermostat to Ace Hardware for a refund.
On 03/08 I called Dicks and explained what I had done and the furnace was now working fine. I requested a refund due to the faulty diagnosis by their technician. Loretta informed me that the $49.50 covered Edgars wages and was non-refundable. I asked to speak with her supervisor and she told me Beth was with a customer and transferred me to her voicemail. I left a brief synopsis and requested a return call. I called twice more and was told Beth was in a meeting. On the third call, I reached Beth and she informed me in no uncertain terms that there would be no refund.
She said that they couldnt take the word of just a homeowner that the furnace was fixed, Id need to get a certified technician to verify it. I immediately invited one of her technicians to come over and verify the repair. She declined and told me Id have to get another companies technician to verify it. I told her it didnt make sense for me to pay another companies service fee to get a refund from her, but she declined to explain her stance and rudely ended the phone call.
Their invoice states our service is guaranteed, yet I doubt that they would have refunded the $478.50 for a useless repair since they wont refund $49.50 for a useless diagnosis.
On 03/11 I submitted a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
On 03/16, complaint received by BBB. E-mail received by me with miscellaneous reference numbers.
On 03/26 I submitted a complaint with the FTC, reference #29832107
On 03/27 I filed a complaint with the Attorney General, no reference number given.
On 03/29 the BBB received a reply from Dicks. It was all double talk with no realistic explanation for their poor performance and no offer of a refund.
On 03/29 I sent complaints to Service Magic, Master Builders Association, and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (trade organizations that Dicks claims affiliation with).
On 03/30 I received confirmation from the Attorney General that they forwarded my complaint (file number 384511) to Dicks and would give them 21 work days to reply.
On 03/30 I received an email from the Master Builders Association stating that Dicks was not a member. I replied with a copy & paste from www.servicemagic.com/rated.dicksheatinandacinc stating they were affiliated.
On 04/01 I received a reply from Service Magic that did not address the complaint. I called them on 04/05, and basically was told they could do nothing except note the problem in their files.
On 04/13 I received a reply from the AGs office. Dicks reply to them was a carbon copy of their reply to the BBB, including the double talk of how I must have been happy with them at one time because I signed up for a service plan, although thats clearly explained in my complaint.
On 05/13 I received an email from the BBB stating there was nothing more they could do and they would keep the report in their files.